2016 is the inaugural OneWalk to Conquer Cancer benefitting the Alberta Cancer Foundation.
Funds raised through OneWalk to Conquer Cancer enable the Alberta Cancer Foundation to make investments that are reducing people’s risk of developing cancer, diagnosing cancer earlier, and improving the quality of life for cancer patients and their families. Through the support of the OneWalk to Conquer Cancer, the Alberta Cancer Foundation is making life better for Albertans facing cancer.
When a participant registers for OneWalk, they can select which cancer fund their dollars raised will support. The Alberta Cancer Foundation invests in research that will improve outcomes and enhance care for Alberta cancer patients. OneWalk Cancer Funds include: Clinical Trials, Prostate Cancer, Breast Cancer, Lung Cancer, Ovarian Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Immunotherapy, Head and Neck Cancer and Enhanced Care Programs.
Funds raised through OneWalk to Conquer Cancer are reducing people’s risk of developing cancer, improving treatments, and improving the care and quality of life for cancer patients and their families. Here are some of the ways that OneWalk is making life better for Albertans facing cancer:
- Immunotherapy — A new investment into immunotherapy will look to harness the power of the immune system in cancer patients. Scientists will use small molecules aimed at specific targeted binding sites to jumpstart the body’s T cells to fight off cancer. Using the IBM Blue super computer, the team is able to simulate our physiological environment and mimic the behavior in human cells. A potential game–changer in cancer therapy worldwide, starting right here in Alberta.
- Lung Cancer Screening Program — Lung Cancer Screening Program – This year alone, nearly 2000 Albertans are expected to be diagnosed with lung cancer. Sadly, 1700 will die. So far, no Canadian province has a lung cancer screening program. With help from OneWalk to Conquer Cancer, Alberta will be the first, launching a province–wide screening program that best determines who to screen and when, saving many Albertans’ lives.
- Breast Cancer Research — Every day, six Albertans are diagnosed with breast cancer. Funds from OneWalk will support ground–breaking research looking to identify biomarkers that could help medical teams determine the best treatment for each patient at the right time. Similarly, we are also launching a new pilot program that will allow breast cancer survivors the opportunity to recover from mastectomies at home–improving patient care, while integrating enhanced recovery into routine impact-based breast cancer care.
- Prostate Cancer Research — In Alberta, one in seven men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. If detected early, prostate cancer is one of the most successfully treated cancers. Funds from OneWalk to Conquer Cancer will assist Dr. John Lewis to determine which cancerous cells are at risk of metastasizing and how the spread can be managed with the development of a new “glue–like” drug.
- Head and Neck Cancer Therapies — Swallowing disorders affect 70 per cent of patients with head and neck cancer, which can lead to a dependence on tube feeding, affecting social interactions and overall quality of life. The current therapy required is time and labour intensive for both patient and therapist. A research team in Edmonton is testing a mobile app that will receive information from a simple adhesive pad under patients’ chins, and instantly share that feedback with clinicians. This will enhance patient quality of life, as they can receive treatment from the comfort of their home. The goal is to have this device in clinical trials within two years.
- Enhanced Therapies for Colorectal Cancer — Colon cancer continues to be one of the most prevalent cancers in Alberta. Most patients will receive surgery, and almost half will require chemotherapy and radiation in addition to surgery. OneWalk to Conquer Cancer will help Dr. Michael Weinfeld and his team discover a novel and promising line of chemotherapeutics that will increase survival and improve quality of life for colorectal cancer patients. If successful, their discoveries could be applied to other cancer types.
- Simply put, clinical trials save lives. The Alberta Cancer Foundation supports every single clinical trial that takes place in Alberta, bringing the latest innovation to cancer patients faster. Funds from OneWalk will ensure that the Alberta Cancer Foundation can continue to invest in clinical trials–giving Albertans access to potentially life–saving treatments years before they would otherwise be available. Over the past five years, 6,000 Albertans have taken part in life–saving clinical trials.
ENHANCED CARE PROGRAMS:
- Alberta Cancer Foundation Patient Navigators — There are 15 Alberta Cancer Foundation Patient Navigators in rural communities across the province who assist patients who are struggling with the emotional, financial, and physical components of their diagnosis. They explain how treatment will work and understand additional challenges rural Albertans face with a cancer diagnosis. Since the program began, 5,000 Albertans have been supported by Alberta Cancer Foundation Patient Navigators.
- Patient Financial Assistance Program — Cancer can be a huge strain on the finances. The costs can be so overwhelming that some patients will decide not to have life–saving therapy to save costs. OneWalk to Conquer Cancer will ensure the Alberta Cancer Foundation can continue to provide financial support to patients in need, easing their cancer journey. The Alberta Cancer Foundation Patient Financial Assistance Program covers costs such as housing, medication, transportation, and childcare.
- Healing Arts Program — The Healing Arts Program helps patients and families find creative expression to confront the many complex feelings that come with a diagnosis of cancer. Programs available include art therapy, expressive and spontaneous painting, hand drumming, laughter yoga, origami making and other creative outlets.
- Patient Comfort — OneWalk to Conquer Cancer will enable the Alberta Cancer Foundation to improve patient and family comfort by adding blanket warmers, privacy curtains, reclining treatment chairs and TVs in waiting rooms.